A: I love to be the bearer of good news. Your favorite bad girls, led by Aria Montgomery (played by Lucy Hale), will be back with new episodes on ABC Family on its new night starting Monday, Jan. 2. Watch as Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer take matters into their own hands to try to finally put a stop to their tormentor, the mysterious “A.”
Also, I spoke with Annabeth Gish recently, who played/plays Dr. Sullivan on the show, and I asked her if she'd be back when the show returned. While she couldn't tell me much, she could say this: "I don’t know if I’m at liberty to say. You will see Dr. Sullivan again. In what way shape or form I cannot say." Don't miss Annabeth on A&E's "Bag of Bones," the second half of which airs tonight at 9/8c, and check out my interview with the talented actress here.
Q: I love watching one of my favorite “classic” TV shows, “Designing Women,” in reruns whenever I get the chance. I’ve decided to ask Santa for the boxed sets on DVD, but can only find seasons one through four. Will season five be out before the holidays? — Jeanne C., Conyers, Ga.
A: You, and the rest of us “Designing Women” fans, are in luck — season five was released on DVD Dec. 6, right in the nick of time for Jolly Ole St. Nick to place a copy in your stocking. Season five begins with Charlene enrolling in college, Suzanne accidentally bidding on a date with Anthony, Mary Jo deciding to want a baby, and Julia secretly moonlighting as a nightclub songstress. The four-disc set includes all 24 original episodes — with all the hairspray and shoulder pads that that entails. This season is also the last to include original cast members Jean Smart and Delta Burke, who left before season six to be replaced by Jan Hooks (who stayed for seasons six and seven) and Julia Duffy (who was in season six only).
Q: Can you tell me if one of my favorite shows on TV will return? “The Killing” on AMC was riveting, and the twist at the very end of the last show blindsided me! — Ann in Minnesota
A: I was just thinking about that show the other day, so thank you for reminding me. I too love “The Killing” and was glued to my seat for the entire 13-episode first season. The show will be back for a second season — thank goodness! — most likely in late spring, although an official date has not been set. If you’re not already following me on Twitter (twitter.com/celebrity_extra), you should, because I always post up-to-the-minute news on casting and returning series.
Q: “Downton Abbey” on PBS was one of my favorite shows of 2011. I remember reading in your column that it would be back for a second season. If so, when? — Donna B., Tulsa, Okla.
A: “Downton Abbey” season two returns to PBS’s Masterpiece Classic on Sunday nights beginning Jan. 9 and running through Feb. 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern and Dan Stevens headline the remarkable cast as World War I shakes Downton Abbey to its very foundations.